Las Vegas Sunset
Las Vegas Sunset, by RANDA
From: Lunch Box EP, (2012)


Wednesday 19th September, 2012 3:37PM

Randa is a young Auckland based beatmaker/rapper who's been picking up a following over the year for her perfectly simple pop-culture inspired tunes. Set to play BANG! this weekend in Auckland, we caught up with her over email for a quick chat about how she started out, her new Lunch Box EP and the local music scene...

Hey, how’s things?

Good thanks!

Is Randa you’re real name or just a stage name?

My birth name is Miranda, my older brother started calling me Randa when I was nine. I was really into the movie Friday and wanted to be Chris Tucker. Every time my older siblings threw house parties, I would rock my SaveMart threads and dollar shop chains, then breakdance for all the teenagers. Randa seemed like a good nickname.

What first inspired you to get into making music?

The idea of having another creative outlet to tap into.

What drew you to beat-making/rapping particularly?

It was noticing rap artists and producers representing a more alternative vibe. I realised rap didn't have to sound a certain way, there were no limitations. The freedom to speak about anything in any context was really attractive. The Odd Future Tape 1 really got me, tracks like 'McDonalds', super unorthodox and fun.

Pop culture seems to be a central focus of your music...

Yeah ever since I was a kid I was intrigued and consumed by popular culture. It all seemed like this really colourful escape. When I go to write a song, the references just spill out.

What releases/artists have you been getting into this year?

This year I've been vibing out to The Jet Age Of Tomorrow albums, 'Ardour' by Teebs , 'Electric Hawaii' from Opossum, Tyler, The Creator. I've also been playing a lot of classic material from artists like David Bowie, particularly 'Aladdin Sane'. I'm really diggin' on work which is strong in a conceptual sense.

You released an EP back in June – tell us about this...

I began juggling around ideas for 'Lunch Box' back in February, the first thing I made was the cover art. It was created out of impulse on Photoshop so I decided to based the EP off it. The first rap I wrote was for 'Fish Sticks Skit'. I finished most of the beats around May, and then recorded the vocals with my Macbook and a condenser mic in June.

Talk us a through a few of the tracks and the story/inspiration behind them...

'Las Vegas Sunset' - This track is about a mentally ill 36yr old man who live's in his Momma's basement. He kindnaps a girl he met online, panics, then drives to Las Vegas.

'Brave New Galaxy' - The inspirations behind this song ire all the 80s adventure films I watched growing up, intertwined with the ideas of love and outer space.

'Dr Phil' - This was written out of a stream of consciousness. It's also inspired by the days I stayed home sick as a kid, watching Sally Jesse and other talk shows, good times.

How is your live show coming along - do you enjoy performing live?

The live show's coming along really swell. Each performance I gain confidence, and have heaps of fun vibing out with different crowds.

What else have you got planned...

I'll be playing 'Radio Friendly' at Mighty Mighty club in Wellington on Thurs 27th September.

I'm working on a heap of new beats and lyrics at the moment too, the plan is to put out an EP in the Summer.

What are you thoughts on the Auckland/ New Zealand music scene right now?

I think the music scene right now is really cool and interesting. I lived overseas for a good chunk of 2011, so it was great coming home and seeing how diverse everything was. Everybody has their own style going on and it's really reflective in the music being put out.

Total: 9
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Love her music! Randa's mean.
Posted by - anonymous 4 years ago

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She Sure is :)
Posted by Name Tegel - anonymous 3 years ago

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I really don't understand NZ music. It is all just an imitation of everything else and a crappy, kitsch imitation at that. . No one uses their natural accent. Reggae is reggae because Jamaican people sang in their natural accent within their culture. Rap is rap because people used their natural accent to make songs in their culture. That's what music is. Same with country and folk and American rock and roll. Randa is crap. So sick of little White girls claiming their obsession with rap. White women are objectified and treated like trash in the rap industry. It's like many actual Black people do you even know in real life? Please stop.
Posted by Name - anonymous 3 years ago

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In response to the post below;
Obviously, as you redally self-state, you do not understand NZ Music. As a long time music fan in general and that of NZ music and worldwide, please try and remember or at least understand, that one of the GREAT aspects of music through the ages, at present, and hopefully into the future, is that of firstly it’s individual and/or collective enjoyment, it’s inherent democracy, lack of racial undertones, associated generic stereotypes and suchlike. IT brings people together. I love Reggae & Rap as much as Mozart.
It ‘music itself’ transcends boundary’s of polictical, racial and general sterotypical formality/ies.
In the absence of narrow minded bigotory both musically and racial, (which your post inherently elludes too) music can and does, in it’s general and varying genres, sub genres and including those to be yet labelled, or determined as such, should excite us - which will enable music to continue to prosper in our lives, currently and future. Personally I enjoy many eras and genre of music irrespective of race. That which I do not enjoy personally, I do not replay (much) nor purchase, such is the democracy and liberty to personal taste - and hope this belay’s your fear or prejuduce and/or form of ‘unliked’ music in some way. You mention and bemoan the lack of NZ’s natural accent in music which astounds me. (E.g. the likes of the brilliant ballad/folk music ‘kiwi’ voice of say Lydia Cole to name but one, of many NZ artists). To much extent that is irrelevant. How many worldwide foreign ‘accents’ via the medium of music do you find that blends into one. May I suggest many, almost nigh on most! Bono sings in an Irish accent?? How often do we say gee!! He/She/They sound just like us when singing? Irrespective of their state or country of origin. On a final note music is of opinion, I accept. In so far as the artist is concerned, fortune favours the brave, or those that at least are innovative dare to step or stretch outside their comfort zone and test the hidden depths of existing genres, for they are and will be the creators of the new and future exciting sounds. In so far as this artist ‘Randa’ is concerned I cannot answer your question re how many non-european ‘rapper/s’ artists she knows but a little study will at least show you that she is a big fan of Tyler the Creator, Odd Future, etc etc etc.
Do we now insist on a ‘Berlin Wall’ for Rap or Rap related white artists, or other genres, Male or Female??..the past and future dictates not!. It will be sure to be torn down.
Posted by Name - anonymous 3 years ago

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'In response to the post below'...that was really long for no reason. You babbled on and didn't say much of anything. The end result...the enjoyed by many and can transcend boundaries, agreed. But the creation of that song needs to have some sort of authenticity. Singing in a default American pop accent is a cheap move. Despite the factory made lyrics and melody the VOICE of Avril Lavine, Katy Perry, Shakira, Shania Twain, Alanias Morrestee all have natural nuances and quirks that cannot be imitated. They could have been trained to erase them but did not. Lily Allen doesn't need to pretend to sing any other way. Why can't they say gee or goodday or eh? Why not? Reggae and rap uses colloquial phrases unique to their culture. Otherwise why not just speak like an American all the time? You are saying your own accent sounds bad to you in song form well news flash it sounds bad all the time. Randa is a flash in the pan and a smelly one at that. There is no longevity. I am not from NZ and really wanted to immerse myself in the arts scene here but there is very little to enjoy. The Maori and Pacifica artists bring the best quality and passion in the music on a consistent basis. As an actual Black American she offends the holy hell out of me. White people loved to mock rap, dress in Blackface as rappers at parties, listen to it 'ironically' and now they can't see the end of their own joke anymore. It is disgusting. There is some great stuff like the roots, the fugees, mos def, lupe fiasco etc but you all just adapted the sick vulgar rap with gold chains. Well you can have that shit.
Posted by please shut up - anonymous 3 years ago

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Fair enough, some cool points. Thanks your opinion and input to our music. Agree that Maori & Pacifica music is consistantly strong here and these cultures and all Kiwi's in general (I feel) very passionate about, and for it. It's awesome, generally.
However would not like countries to be restictive to indigenous music soley though. You make some interesting & very good points, thanks the discussion & outside input. Opinion shared, will just be constructive and "shut up" now. Enjoy your stay/life here and enjoy the music you choose to listen too. Hopefully you'll find some good local sound's to your taste & fortunately there is also ready access to other globally, cheers. Oh and agree with last point re gold chains entirely, although have had lunch, cheers :)
Posted by Name The 'Babbler' - anonymous 3 years ago

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From Lorde's interview with NY Magazine's The Cut where she admits to hating rap and thinking it's stupid but listening to it anyway to be ironic cause that's what White kids to to be cool:

The author writes: In it, Lorde denounces the brand-name trappings of Top 40 rap royalty (Maybach, Cristal), before admitting she wants a turn with the crown. “That kinda luxe just ain’t for us,” she sings, “let me be your ruler.”

People seem excited by the criticism of conspicuous consumption in “Royals.” What were you thinking about when you wrote it?

I’ve always listened to a lot of rap. It’s all, look at this car that cost me so much money, look at this Champagne. It’s super fun. It’s also some bullshit. When I was going out with my friends, we would raid someone’s freezer at her parents’ house because we didn’t have enough money to get dinner. So it seems really strange that we’re playing A$AP Rocky. I experienced this disconnect. Everyone knows it’s B.S., but someone has to write about it. There’s typically been a lot of interest in that aspect of the song, but my all my friends are kinda like, “yeah.” They thought it was less profound.

It makes no sense. If you don't like it, don't listen. Her 'profund' musical statements are weak sauce and hypocritical. You want it, but hate it, but think it's stupid, but that's all you listen to? and in the mean time you have never even met an actual Black person to try and widen your perspective...This is clearly what White people in NZ like doing and White people in general like doing. You are giving Lil Flip and Lil Wayne and whoever all your money even though you secretly hate him...yet are buying his records...yet mocking him. It's hilarious that you think I'm being racist by not liking White people who act racist by ironically listening to rap. That's called a reaction to an original act of racism. It's called speaking out. I am Black and rap was created for us by us and now drunk White suburban kids who throw parties are singing along to the word nigger and demanding more dirty pop rap and telling me 'Don't you only date football players? Dance this is your kind of music start krumping hahahah.' What a fun night with such musically sophisitcated people.

Scroll onto the comments and racist little American White girls call me a baboon and a racist after I recount how White ironic rap loving hipsters treated me with racism at parties and bars which is why I obviously distrust all that fake shit. If you don't like it don't listen to it. I'm not gonna listen to country music artists that I hate all day like Billy Ray Cyrus's 'achy breaky heart' and then mock it and then tell people 'I love country cause like it's just so dumb haha'. I am going to find some that sound good to me and try to appreciate the quality artists. The Civil Wars are pretty good and I like the Dixie Chicks also Reba is a very strong woman. Miley Cyrus has very strong country vocals she just feels like showing her ass at the minute for money and attention. Her covers of classic country and other songs are great like 'Joelene' so it's too bad. Never been a fan of Taylor Swift although props to her for knowing how to play an instrument and write her own material at least. Randa and Lorde can suck an egg with salmonella. Lorde is a factory made and controlled pop star packaged as an indie 'artist' like Lana Del Rey. Randa is not even worth words.
Posted by whatever - anonymous 3 years ago

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Oh please! Man you have a problem Work away at the chip on your shoulder dude. Words....not "even worth words"!!, crikey you've given em and the machine's more than they could have wished for. Can't relate to your narrow minded bs. You must have had some real bad musical experiences. Gee must be off to post some links now.....not! Can't the darn music just be enjoyed or not enjoyed by whoever may do so or may not. Talk about over reacting to entertainment! The so called in depth phylosophical aspects, music origin's & race.....yaaaaawn! .....Night Kiwi's.
Posted by Name ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ's - anonymous 3 years ago

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Right...White people trivializing the expereinces and effects of racism. Race realtions are too difficult to address so White people don't want to act like anything else esists but them. White people belittling the opinions of ACTUAL Black people about rap music...that we invented. Only White people are allowed to speak about anything. Got it.
Posted by Fuck New Zealand - anonymous 3 years ago

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